Self-service technology, including kiosks with kiosk printers, continues to increase in popularity in a wide range of vertical markets. Retailers of all types, as well as quick-service restaurants, gas stations, parking lots, casinos, telecommunications companies, banks, transportation providers, and other organizations are implementing these solutions. According to a recent study by Technavio, the self-service market is estimated to reach $18 billion by 2020.
What’s more, consumer demand for access to kiosks is growing. For instance, a survey by InRetail revealed that 69% of shoppers are more likely to make purchases from stores with kiosks, than from stores that do not have them.
However, capitalizing on the self-service trend and consumers’ affinity for kiosks in any application — retail or otherwise — necessitates strategic kiosk printer selection. Choosing the right kiosk printer is a matter of understanding the business, the business environment, and customers. It involves careful assessment of the range of feature options. This guide presents a roadmap for selecting the kiosk printer that best suits the needs of an operation and its clientele.
Free Self-Service Kiosk Resources
The future of many industries lies with self-service solutions. That’s why Star Micronics is offering free online ordering resources for VARs and ISVs who are helping customers future-proof their businesses with self-service solutions.
Top 3 Key Considerations
The road to finding the right kiosk printer starts with a few key considerations. Here at the top three; find out the rest by downloading the full free guide now!
In most applications, space for the kiosk — and the kiosk printer — is at a premium. For example, in a typical retail or hospitality environment, the area in which the kiosk is installed is not sufficiently large enough to accommodate a unit with a bulky peripheral. Therefore, you will want to look for printer options configured as “open frame” printing mechanisms. There should be no unnecessary casings that increase the unit’s size and occupy space that may be needed for other components to make the kiosk more user friendly.
One of the most common mistakes in selecting a kiosk printer is designing the actual kiosk before the printer and other accessories have been chosen. To ensure that the kiosk printer really satisfies the requirements of your business, think first about the use case and its parameters. For instance, if the kiosk will be installed in an environment where transaction volume is high, and thousands of receipts will be printed daily, you may need a kiosk printer that accommodates very large rolls of paper. However, many kiosk printers have a slender design and cannot support these large rolls, or necessitate the purchase of a special attachment at an additional cost.
A kiosk allows businesses to interact directly with customers, and provide high-caliber customer service, all while decreasing wait times. To kick things up a notch, you can select a kiosk printer that can support graphical printing at a high speed. This allows you to offer coupons, special promotion options, product information, and other materials that customers can print out on the spot, increasing their engagement level with your establishment, and cultivating repeat business.
Must-Have Kiosk Technologies
Here are the top three kiosk printer technologies and accessories that you will find essential, depending on the application (get the full list in our guide):
A presenter increases security and supports customer privacy by ensuring that receipts are delivered only to the right person; if forgotten, they remain inside the kiosk where unauthorized parties cannot access them.
The presenter also offers other benefits that make it worthwhile. Perhaps most importantly, the presenter prevents paper jams from occurring if receipts are inadvertently left in the printer. This, in turn, decreases the incidence of operating interruptions that cause customer service delays, and have a negative impact on the customer experience.
What’s more, with a presenter, there is no opportunity for receipts or other collateral to fall to the floor if it is not delivered to the intended recipient. The end result is reduction in litter, and a cleaner-looking store, restaurant, or other business environment.
The bezel is an alternative to the presenter. Typically positioned between the kiosk slot and the printer, it acts as a guide
to push paper out of the kiosk. If the best kiosk printer for your application is not designed to accommodate a presenter, or there is another reason why a presenter would not work with a particular kiosk printer model (e.g., space constraints), a bezel is a viable solution.
Paper Status Alerts
Kiosks are typically left unattended for extended periods of time. However, you’ll need to know immediately when a kiosk printer requires more paper. Select a kiosk printer that displays alerts when it is low or entirely out of paper.